Photographers in this exhibit: Thomas Lavin, Erin Malone, Ari Salomon, Anthony Delgado, Adrienne Defendi, Heather Polley, Gary Weiner, Steve Epstein, Irene Imfeld, Steve Goldband and Ellen Konar, Jack Androvich.
Renny Pritikin was co-director of New Langton Arts in San Francisco from 1979 to 1992. He was chief curator at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from 1992 to 2004. He was director of the Nelson Gallery and Fine Arts Collection at UC Davis from 2004 until 2012. He has been a senior adjunct professor in the curatorial practices graduate program at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco since its inception in 2003. Pritikin is known for bringing work from popular culture into the museum context, including retrospectives of the work of auto customizer Ed Big Daddy Roth, the tattoo artist and painter Don Ed Hardy, the futurist and Blade Runner designer Syd Mead and the magician and historian Ricky Jay.
Discussing the theme for this exhibit, Pritikin explains he took inspiration from the filmmaker John Ford who instructed an aspiring movie maker to look at the three photographs on his wall – all of them stills from Ford’s films. “Look at the horizon line and figure out why it’s placed where it is. That’s all I’ll tell you,” said Ford.
Pritikin chose these images in the spirit of Ford’s anecdote, “…which I understand to mean that form and content are inextricable, that formal choices have crucial narrative ramifications. Thomas Lavin’s painted wall with the grassy illusion was one of the pieces that inspired the show, and I was also pleased to include his hilarious drunken mobile homes. Ellen Konar and Steve Goldband’s stunning image of a line of media lights (and scarily illuminated faces) is the epitome of the manmade horizon. Ari Salomon’s panoramic embodies the nightmarish beauty of our impact on the world. Irene Imfeld’s bathtub wave achieves true strangeness with straightforward materials, as do Jack Androvich’s eye-confusing works and Anthony Delgado’s sad little lost island. Erin Malone depicts nature obscuring human construction obscuring nature. Gary Weiner, Heather Polley and Adrienne Defendi similarly explore the visual dance between the human and the natural. Steve Epstein offers two hilarious, classic images.
Ford may have meant that the horizon line compresses or expands the balance of human versus nature. In Reconsidering the Horizon, my intention is to celebrate our apparently endless capacity to juxtapose the built world and the found world within the rigid confines of the rectangular cell.”